[Lily] Yeh is the founder of — and force behind — Barefoot Artists, an organization that revitalizes neighborhoods around the globe through the transformative power of art. In Palestine, that meant working with villagers to create a wall mural that Yeh calls “The Palestinian Tree of Life.” In China, it meant transforming a once imposing, prison-like school into a bright and brilliant place for learning. In Rwanda, it meant helping people heal the still-raw wounds left from that country’s genocide with a memorial to the lost.
In each of the locations, Barefoot Artists collaborates with locals, joining with them to create something beautiful or soothing or enlightening. As Yeh sees it, she is igniting the light of creativity that rests in all people.
Uncanny chalk murals by street artist Kurt Wenner
“Reclaiming the Body as Home” by NalaWalla
The arts must be restored to their central role in community life if we are to achieve the goal of sustainable living.
“The Remodernist Manifesto” by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson
We don’t need more dull, boring, brainless destruction of convention . . . We need an art that integrates body and soul and recognizes enduring and underlying principles which have sustained wisdom and insight throughout humanity’s history.
“The Kosmic Karma of an Integral Poet” by Paul Lonely
Dear postmodern and contemporary artists of the world: You’re trying too hard. Most of you seem to be dead set on becoming the next ‘mad genius.’ And, quite frankly, it’s cliché . . . It’s high time for a group of integral artists to transcend the trendiness of self-deconstruction and call for a global transformation. May I be so bold as to offer a couple new mantras for the 21st century? Here’s the first: Art for Spirit’s Sake. Do you like it? If so, I offer the second: Sanity is the new Crazy. Shadow work, meditation, yoga, contemplation, prayer, authentic self inquiry. SANITY is the new Crazy.
“The Poet’s Dilemma” by Daniel Pinchbeck
Dear Daniel: I too feel that poets and artists need to move into a new real realm beyond alienation and pessimism . . . [but] what is an artist supposed to do? You can only write the visions that come to you. You can’t consciously ‘steer’ the material into positive attitudes unless you want your poem or novel to be some sort of propaganda piece, or some sort of fake smile on the face of a suffering man.